As part of its global commitment to energy efficiency, Ford wanted to implement a policy of active power management across its office computers. Under its new PC Power Management program that uses Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 and NightWatchman and WakeUp from 1E to control PC power settings, Ford expects to save U.S.$1.2 million annually and reduce its carbon footprint by an estimated 16,000 to 25,000 metric tons a year.
Founded by Henry Ford in 1903, Ford Motor Company is a global automotive company headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan. With 70 plants worldwide, Ford manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. The company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln.
Ford had already made significant strides in reducing energy in its manufacturing plants around the world. Since 2000, Ford U.S. facilities have improved energy efficiency by nearly 35 percent, equivalent to the annual energy consumed by more than 150,000 homes. However, Ford knew that it could do more to save energy and costs by implementing a policy of active power management in its offices, too. “In the past, as many as 60 percent of Ford’s PC users haven’t shut their PCs off at the end of the business day, resulting in wasted energy,” says Keith Forte, Project Supervisor, Enterprise Engineering, Client and Security Engineering at Ford.
In March 2010, Ford launched a new program called PC Power Management to centrally control the power settings on its Windows operating system–based desktop and portable computers, to reduce energy waste and optimize software updates. Ford selected 1E, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, for its best-of-breed, comprehensive power management solution, NightWatchman and WakeUp, which complement Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007. “Night-Watchman from 1E extends the core PC power management capabilities offered by System Center Configuration Manager through administrative flexibility, user empowerment, and advanced reporting, to provide a best-of-breed solution for customers,” says Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft.
By extending the core power management capabilities of System Center Configuration Manager with 1E, Ford gained comprehensive sleep/wake control of PCs and detailed power usage reporting. NightWatchman software powers down unused PCs to save energy and WakeUp software powers up sleeping PCs to update them when employees are not using them.
Ford employed a phased approach to deployment across the business, starting with WakeUp across all locations. This was followed by a global deployment of NightWatchman for baseline purposes. For the final phase, Ford will deploy actual power management in an active mode. With this phased approach, Ford can use WakeUp to move almost all software delivery to off-hours and perform baseline reporting, before implementing active power settings on a building-by-building basis throughout the company.
Under the new PC Power Management program that pairs System Center Configuration Manager with 1E power management capabilities, the power settings on the company’s Windows-based portable and desktop computers are now centrally controlled to reduce energy waste and optimize software updates. A managed shutdown of computers not in use, especially overnight and on weekends, further reduces energy use. “We’ll be able to manage PC power consumption more efficiently while minimizing interruptions during the working day as a result of software updates,” Forte says.
Ford has developed power profiles for each PC in the company. With its power profile enabled, each PC monitors its usage patterns and determines when it can be powered down.
“If an employee is working late, he or she will be alerted of the approaching power-down and given the opportunity to delay it,” says Forte. “In addition, the PC is able to detect when a Microsoft Office program is active and is able to save open documents before powering down in case the user is not present.”
At the same time, the program ensures that all computers connected to the Ford intranet are awake and able to receive software deliveries during off hours, decreasing downtime during working hours due to software updates.
Under the PC Power Management program, Ford began its rollout to computers across the U.S. in May 2010 and will gradually extend the rollout to regional operations around the world. The company aims to bring all of its PCs under the PC Power Management program by the end of 2011.
By implementing the PC Power Management program and using System Center Configuration Manager and 1E software as a best-of-breed, comprehensive solution, Ford expects to see significant energy and energy cost savings. The savings to the company on power costs alone are expected to reach U.S.$1.2 million annually when the program is fully implemented. And by reducing PC power consumption, Ford also expects to reduce its carbon footprint by an estimated 16,000 to 25,000 metric tons annually.
Ford’s actions to reduce the amount of energy used in all its facilities now extend from manufacturing to its office buildings, earning it the coveted 2010 ENERGY STAR Award, awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, for the fifth consecutive year.
As part of the company’s continued commitment to earning the ENERGY STAR Award, Ford is also urging its employees and customers to join the effort by reducing their personal energy use and their carbon footprints. By working together, Ford believes both individuals and corporations can make a difference in reducing energy use.
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